Former Cabela's employees adjust to life after layoffs
Cabela's shareholders approved the company's sale to Bass Pro last July. Since then, they have laid–off groups of workers by the dozens, leaving many in Sidney in search of a new job.
Some found work in nearby towns while others uprooted their lives to move as far as Pennsylvania for work.
At the beginning of March, nearly 300 employees accepted buyouts. Another 390 applied for them. Many, however, were let go well before these buyouts were offered.
Brian Fort worked with Cabela’s for 10 years before he was laid off just over a year ago.
"You know, we knew this was gonna happen before it happened, you know there was talk and there was a lot of things going on behind the scenes so it wasn't a shock as people left or started to get laid off,” said Fort.
Fort said he took his layoff as his next adventure. He says he was lucky enough to find a job just days after being let go. Now, he works as the Director of Sale and Marketing for a self-defense spray company. Fort’s wife, however, also worked for Cabela’s. She was laid off just a few weeks ago.
"She carries the insurance at this point because I work for a smaller company and it's not something at this point they are able to offer, but really that's the only stress, with three children, you know a family of five, you gotta have insurance,” said Fort.
Fort said their goal is to stay in Sidney, even though, he says over 100 homes are being foreclosed on as we speak.
"It's gonna take a while to off–set the number of people leaving and the amount of homes empty. So it's a great buyers' market, so people from Denver, people from other areas looking to retire, play some golf, you can get an awesome price on a home here,” said Fort.
Turning the town into a buyers’ market is what many are hoping to do, especially the new owners of the Cabela’s offices.
Bass Pro has been working to find businesses, and essentially job opportunities to bring into Sidney.